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  #1  
Old 6 Nov 2007
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Red face Black Diamond Mega Light Tent Review

I recently purchased the Black Diamond Mega Light from REI. I chose to purchase from REI because I was unsure if I would like the tent and REI let's you return things no questions asked. I wanted the Mega Light which is a pyramid style tent because of it's light weight, and low packing volume. I figured it would be easy to pack on my BMW.

I don't feel like rewriting it all here since I've already posted it in my blog. So if you are interested you can check it out there.
Empeg9000 Motorcycle Travels: Black Diamond Mega Light Tent Review
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  #2  
Old 6 Nov 2007
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Well it sure is small and light, and the inside height is good. But it looks like it won't stand strong winds and the gaps between the floor and walls is not a good sign. Does it have an inner tent--if not you may get severe condensation. It looks like another problem might be getting water all over the interior when entering or exiting the tent when it's raining.

My smallest tent is a Gelert Mongoose which is a bit bigger than the Black Diamond and a few pounds heavier. I liked the fact it opened both sides and you could pitch just the inner tent in hot weather.

Gelert mongoose 2 man tent online - World of Camping
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  #3  
Old 6 Nov 2007
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Red face

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Cullis View Post
Well it sure is small and light, and the inside height is good. But it looks like it won't stand strong winds and the gaps between the floor and walls is not a good sign. Does it have an inner tent--if not you may get severe condensation. It looks like another problem might be getting water all over the interior when entering or exiting the tent when it's raining.

My smallest tent is a Gelert Mongoose which is a bit bigger than the Black Diamond and a few pounds heavier. I liked the fact it opened both sides and you could pitch just the inner tent in hot weather.

Gelert mongoose 2 man tent online - World of Camping
No there is not inner tent. Its single wall. I could see how it may get some condensation inside. It was kind of iced up in there that night I camped in it. That was the least of my concerns though.

That Gelert tent is way tiny in comparison to the Mega Light. The MEga Light is huge inside. I guess I was a tent that's big, lightweight, and packs small. I want it all!

Last edited by empeg9000; 6 Nov 2007 at 19:31.
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  #4  
Old 6 Nov 2007
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Wink From your webpage, you sound doubtful already

If it were mine, I would look around for another tent; I have not seen you telling us what it cost (may have missed it), but anyway -

I would doubt the longterm use of a single skin tent, certainly here in the UK.

When you make all of the modifications, it is more complex to put it up, adding the netting skirt at the bottom for instance. Even then the wind will whistle through at ground level, just where you don't want the wind to blow!

Yep, the sides will billow inward in strong winds, and, as you say, someone lying close up to the sides will either get wet if it is raining, or be awake all night with tent material flapping against their sleeping bag.

Most tents have a sewn-in groundsheet (floor) nowadays, and very useful they are!

Why make all those modifications? There has to be a tent which is more suitable - check that Hilleborg catalogue!!

Cheers,
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  #5  
Old 6 Nov 2007
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After getting eaten alive by mosquitos when camping in Italy with a tent without a sewn in groundsheet I would never ever consider one again. If the bugs don't get you the rain, sooner or later, will.

You can pick up a Chinese made tent for around £10 here - probably even less in the states. People use them for festivals and leave them there. Even something like that has got to be a better bet
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  #6  
Old 7 Nov 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkabout View Post
If it were mine, I would look around for another tent; I have not seen you telling us what it cost (may have missed it), but anyway -
...
Why make all those modifications? There has to be a tent which is more suitable - check that Hilleborg catalogue!!

Cheers,
I swear I replied to this. The tent was $300 USD with the tent and optional floor. Yes I do have doubts already. I love the Hilleberg tents but I reticent to spend so much on a tent and I am wondering if I need to. They seem very light though and they also seem packable. I like the GT tents especially.
I am also interested in the Mutha Hubba possibly but I've read that since the fly doesn't go right to the ground, rain and wind can come into that too.
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  #7  
Old 7 Nov 2007
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Right boys the longest I was in the seat for was 19 hours and the longest I stayed in a place was 3 days and from this I learned some very valuable lessons,

DON'T BE CHEAP WITH YOUR SLEEPING KIT

1. A good, convertable sleeping bag (means you can zip off the top of the bag) so my sleeping bag actually has two layers means that I can have the same bag for both winter and summer by just unzipping the extra layer. Oh plus it's GORE-TEX so it doesn't matter if it gets wet on the bike.

2. 3/4 length Termal rest, get your poor cold body off of the cold hard rocky ground, also good if you sleep in a Hennessy Hammock for extra warmth.

3. Always have a Double Skinned Tent, with a SEALED bath tub floor. Stops wind, sand, mossies and other nasties actually getting close enough to bite your arse. If the inner is mesh you can just put that up if it's nice and warm where you are.

4. You will benefit from having a 2 person tent, sometime on the road you will meet someone you will want to share with . Plus if your an 1 place for more then a day or two you WILL need the extra room it affords.

5. YOU NEED TO HAVE A GOOD NIGHTS SLEEP ON THE ROAD, otherwise you are at risk of DYING, you drive tired the risks go right up that's why the government spends millions a year on driver education.


Blacks - Cygnus TentBLK SS06 1 to 2 Person Tents(BLG Base Catalog)

I bought a Black's Cygnus 2 Person Tent (got it for £35 in the sale), a Little heavy (5.5kg) but you aren't carrying it on your back are you? for the few extra pounds I have a tent that's stable in high winds, warm, roomy, sealed and quite stylish.

Just my 2 cents if you agree then shout out, if you don't then tell me what you have and lets compare notes.

Last edited by juddadredd; 7 Nov 2007 at 00:47. Reason: added link to text
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  #8  
Old 7 Nov 2007
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I agree

Quote:
Originally Posted by juddadredd View Post
Right boys the longest I was in the seat for was 19 hours and the longest I stayed in a place was 3 days and from this I learned some very valuable lessons,

DON'T BE CHEAP WITH YOUR SLEEPING KIT

1. A good, convertable sleeping bag (means you can zip off the top of the bag) so my sleeping bag actually has two layers means that I can have the same bag for both winter and summer by just unzipping the extra layer. Oh plus it's GORE-TEX so it doesn't matter if it gets wet on the bike.

2. 3/4 length Termal rest, get your poor cold body off of the cold hard rocky ground, also good if you sleep in a Hennessy Hammock for extra warmth.

3. Always have a Double Skinned Tent, with a SEALED bath tub floor. Stops wind, sand, mossies and other nasties actually getting close enough to bite your arse. If the inner is mesh you can just put that up if it's nice and warm where you are.

4. You will benefit from having a 2 person tent, sometime on the road you will meet someone you will want to share with . Plus if your an 1 place for more then a day or two you WILL need the extra room it affords.

5. YOU NEED TO HAVE A GOOD NIGHTS SLEEP ON THE ROAD, otherwise you are at risk of DYING, you drive tired the risks go right up that's why the government spends millions a year on driver education.


Blacks - Cygnus TentBLK SS06 1 to 2 Person Tents(BLG Base Catalog)

I bought a Black's Cygnus 2 Person Tent (got it for £35 in the sale), a Little heavy (5.5kg) but you aren't carrying it on your back are you? for the few extra pounds I have a tent that's stable in high winds, warm, roomy, sealed and quite stylish.

Just my 2 cents if you agree then shout out, if you don't then tell me what you have and lets compare notes.
That tent looks pretty cool but I don't think those are available in the states. I think I will send the tent back. I am going to give the MSR Muttha Hubba a strong look and the Hilleberg tents as well.
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  #9  
Old 8 Nov 2007
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Black Diamond and MSR experience

well I thought I should share my experience,

I too was looking for a while to find the lightest smallest easiest tent to carry on my bike.

I bought the Black Diamond Fistlight from REI two / three years ago.

It's a waterproof single sheet, 2 person tent.

I used it camping in France over a wet a summer and going to the HUBB meetings in UK (wet) and camping in Western Sahara.

The problem I had, was that for two people it is just too small, (I am 5.6' and my wife is 5.4') and we can fit in the tent fine but none of our bike stuff can fit in with us, so we had to leave them outside and get them wet or try to keep them in our ortlieb bags.

(I should have thought about a vestibule)

Waterproofing was prooved to be very good although the problem was condensation in the wet days or being very hot at all other times. (single door + small window = not much ventilation)

Finally I though I should upgrade my tent and bearing in mind the issues above I got a MSR Hubba hubba from REI (again)

It was lightest two people (two door, two vestibule, two wall, single pole) tent REI had.
Although it packs a bit bigger than the black diamond, is equally easy to set up (or may be easier/faster) I can still fit it on my bike and with the extra fly sheet and mesh wall (inner) I can deal better with rain & hot weather and even use the mesh tent without the fly sheet for warm nights sleeping under the stars but keeping the ol' mossies at bay


hope the above helps
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  #10  
Old 8 Nov 2007
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Anyone have opinions on these?

The Exped Andromeda

The Hilleberg Nallo GT

and the Big Agnes Emerald Mountain SL
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  #11  
Old 8 Nov 2007
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KHYAM is the best way..........

OK, they arent tall......... and they are bulky......... and they are heavy......... but they go up in about a minute. pegged down in another minute and your inside within 3 minutes of dropping the tent off your bike.
mine cost me 99 quid and took 5 years of some of the worst weather in the UK you could imagine!

It NEVER leaked ( OK I did spray it with silicone spray) and i sealed the seams but it was a fantastic bit of kit. it would hold a double airbed and had a porch front and back.. one for cooking one for wet bike gear.

without a doubt it was the best tent i ever had.
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  #12  
Old 8 Nov 2007
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Kyham tents

I don't think I can get those in the states. They do look pretty awesome though.
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  #13  
Old 8 Nov 2007
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Hi again empeg,
There's quite a detailed discussion of tents in the camping forum, and this was one of the larger threads in there:-


http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...est-tent-10775

You might find some facts and opinions in that forum about tents that can be found in the US, if I recall correctly.
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  #14  
Old 10 Nov 2007
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Been camping on and off for years. I have a couple of tips about small tents.
I have found that value for money peaks at about £50. Beyond that you're paying for marginal improvements and the name.

Buy a 3 kg tent and splash out on a set of titanium tent pegs (e-bay).
Now you have a 2kg tent with (almost) indestructible pegs that will outlast a hundred tents.

Take a spare section of pole.

Take a universal tent repair kit (i.e a roll of Duck-Tape).

Buy a tent with an inner and a fly sheet.
If you're going somewhere hot & dry - get one that's erected inner first so you can use it on it's own ang get the benefit of any breeze.
If you're going somewhere wet - get one that's erected outer first so that you have dry place to erect the inner. Or even just a dry place to sit.

Make sure the inner has a built in ground sheet.

At the budget end of the scale, avoid single wall tents. Especially the "quick erect" or "festival" tents on e-bay..... they're crap.

One man tents are tooooo small. A two man tent is ideal for solo camping. Essential if you are staying more than one night.

Make sure the tent has a porch.

If travelling to Scotland - make sure the mesh is Midge proof and not just Mosquito proof.

Hope this helps.
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  #15  
Old 10 Nov 2007
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Talking I ended up buying this

I got the Big Agnes Emerald Mountain SL3. I called them about them about a sleeping bag of theirs I own and was asking about the tents. They told me they had a prototype that will be coming out next year that has two vestibules that can zipper off in case you want to just use the normal fly. It was less that buying the tent and it carries the normal lifetime warranty. If I don't like it I can return it within 30 days. Sweet!
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